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Teaching Strategies
January 30, 2020

How Zion Chapel School Decreased Behavioral Referrals with The Creative Curriculum®

Since 2015, our partners at Zion Chapel School in Jack, Alabama have used The Creative Curriculum® for Kindergarten to achieve a whole-child, play-based learning environment in their kindergarten classrooms. Along the way, our colleague Sandy Little has served as their curriculum coach, helping the teachers focus on what's developmentally appropriate for young children. This November, Sandy spent time with teachers Mallory Carpenter, Angie Dillard and Megan Carson, and their Assistant Principal, DeAndre Tingey, to hear more about their experience and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about implementing a whole-child focused curriculum in kindergarten.

You'll find an audio recording of their interview and a brief introductory transcript below, along with photos from their program.

Throughout the audio, you'll hear discussion around topics such as improved behaviors, increased attendance, and supporting literacy development.


I'm Sandy Little with Teaching Strategies and I'm here with our partners in Coffee County Alabama at a school called Zion Chapel where we've been Partners since 2015. We've had a long-standing relationship in kindergarten and we're super excited to be here to let these teachers share a little bit about their journey with kindergarten. So I'm going to go ahead and let each of you guys introduce yourselves to the audience and just if you'll just say who you are and what you want people to know.

I'm Mallory Carpenter. I've been teaching kindergarten since 2015 here at Zion Chapel.

I am Angie Dillard and I have been this is my 19th year of kindergarten.

I'm DeAndre Tingey. I'm the assistant principal here at Zion Chapel. This is my sixth year here.

I'm Megan Carson. It's my third year teaching kindergarten my 10th year overall.

So we are with an exceptional group of learners, teacher learners, who have been on a journey to move from what I guess we would call, in literature, current literature, research, academic rigor focus to a whole child focus. And these gals have been on a great journey in have been exemplar leaders in our state here in Alabama is showing others a way to whole child education through their ongoing learning process and we're just here to celebrate that a little bit. Let them tell about their journey. And so we want to let them share a few things.

Let us know what other questions you have for the team at Zion Chapel School in the comments below!


This [publication or project] was made possible by grant number [90TP0065-01-00].  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.” [HHS Grants Policy Statement, page II-31].

All P-3 published materials must include the following disclaimer: The Alabama Pre-K – 3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning (“P-3”) initiative is funded in partnership with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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